I write to let you know of a very shocking proposal being considered by Hastings Council Cabinet on Monday 7th January. It’s a proposal to install solar panels (Ground Mounted Solar Arrays) on 10 acres of our Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve at Place Farm in the centre of the Country Park. Your committee only heard of the proposal on 1st January 2019
Please have a look at the report
and, the accompanying business case
In particular look at page 12 of the business case to see the location for the solar arrays.
If approved by Hastings Cabinet on Monday, Council officers would be able to spend £80,000 on professional studies and pre-planning consultations. The report under “Environmental Issues” only mentions the benefit of saving carbon emissions. You will be well aware that this is far from being the only environmental issue in this proposed location.
The proposal is ignoring the Council’s own planning policies in relation to the Country Park. The Council’s Development Management plan adopted in 2015 opens with the words: “Hastings Country Park is Hastings' area of true countryside – and it is a very special area of countryside. … This is an area where the natural environment is of paramount importance”. The Council’s proposal would be a violation of this principle.
Please will you:
If you live in Hastings write/speak to your local Councillor urging the Council to look for sites for solar farms which are not as environmentally sensitive as Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. You could also contact the leader of the Council and members of Hastings Council Cabinet.
If you live outside the Borough, write to Cllr Peter Chowney (firstname.lastname@example.org) the leader of Hastings Council and/or to members of the Hastings Council Cabinet.
The Cabinet meeting on Monday 7th January is open to the public; come along. The meeting is at 6pm in Muriel Matters House (The Tourist Information Centre on the seafront). The agenda is on the Council’s website and the item “Ground Mounted Solar” is item 7. There is no opportunity for The Friends to speak at the meeting.
Spread the word on Social Media
With best wishes for 2019,
Chair, Friends of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve